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Pakistan fires mortars at LoC ahead of Arun Jaitley's visit

Saturday, 14 June 2014 - 6:15am IST | Place: Srinagar | Agency: dna

  • PTI

The Pakistani side violated the ceasefire along the Line of Control on Friday, hours before Arun Jaitley arrives in Jammu and Kahsmir for his maiden visit to the state as defence minister today.

Friday's ceasefire violation follows Thursday's IED blasts on the LoC which left one soldier dead and five others injured on Thursday.

According to the army, the Pakistani army shelled Indian forward positions and civilian areas at half a dozen locations in Bhimber Gali sector on Friday morning. Such was the intensity of the firing that some Pakistani mortar shells killed and injured cattle in adjacent villages.

"Pakistani army carried out unprovoked firing using small arms, automatics and mortars from 7.30am to 7.55am in the BG sector," defence spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Manish Mehta told dna from Jammu. "Our own posts gave a befitting reply. No damage or casualties were reported on our side."

The district development commissioner of Poonch, Sajad A Khan, said that two buffaloes died in the village and five were injured. "There is no loss of life or report of any damage to the houses," he said.

Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah took to twitter to question the timing of the ceasefire violation. "Significant ceasefire violation in Rajouri & Poonch with reports of some shells having landed in civilian areas. Some livestock loss. Is it just a coincidence that the Defence Minister is visiting J&K, for his first visit, to review the security situation tomorrow?" he tweeted.

Jaitley will be accompanied by army chief General Bikram Singh during his two day visit to the state to assess the security situation on the border. In Srinagar, Jaitley will be briefed by the Northern Army Commander Lt. General DS Hooda. On Sunday, Jaitley will visit forward posts in the Uri sector on the LoC.

Friday's ceasefire violation on the LoC was the first major incidence since Narendra Modi took over as prime minister on May 26. Incidentally, PM Modi visited the army's war room at its headquarters in south block for a two-hour briefing by Gen Singh. Modi was accompanied by Jaitley and national security advisor Ajit Doval.

Gen Singh apprised the prime minister on operation readiness and also touched upon challenges and issues of the army which need to be addressed.

—(With inputs from Pradip Sagar)

Earlier incidents
May 21
: Pakistan army opens unprovoked firing in Krishnaghati sector of Poonch district
May 4: Pakistan army fires on Indian posts for 15 minutes in Mendhar sector; India retaliates
244 ceasefire violations on LoC and International Border in 2013
541 infiltration attempts in Jammu and Kashmir in 2012 and 2013

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